Yellowhammers are resident species, and sing from early spring to late summer. In many regions they are very common, although alarming decreases in abundance have been encountered in some European regions (especially in the UK). When you encounter a singing yellowhammer, recording is very easy. If you are familiar with yellowhammer identification, just follow the recommendations below.
Try to record multiple repetitions of the song, at least twenty if possible. Some yellowhammer males rarely finish their song, yet its end is crucial for dialect identification. Overall, the recording should be at least 3 minutes long. If you already know yellowhammer songs well and have enough time, wait until you clearly hear the "dialect signature" at the end of the completed song.
When in the field, collect all necessary information - date and time, closest settlement, habitat type, distance from the bird, and, if possible, GPS coordinates. Without these data, recording is much less valuable! The best way is to say aloud all information at the beginning or end of the recording. Data and recording are thus connected and you can't accidentally mix them up.
Usually, each male sings just one dialect (though occasionally mixed singers switching between two dialects are observed) but more dialects may be present in your study region! Thus, record multiple birds when possible. The best is to record a male just once in order to minimize the risk of mismatching the recordings - one long recording of each bird is better than multiple short ones.
Yellowhammer males use their song to defend their territories, which means you will almost always hear the same individual at one particular place. Therefore it is better to record at a sufficient distance (at least a few hundred meters) from the previous spot.
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